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By Scott M. McNamara
From Tucson, Arizona
Apr 8, 2012
One Way Sunset
Any chance before it gets lost, like a nut dropped from a third pitch, we might document the history of the Beanfest?

Did it start a long time ago (1970s), when Mike McEwen had a pig roast?

Then later did Rich Thompson have his "Climbarama?"

Did it take its present form (more or less) with John Steiger and Steve Grossman?

What year did it start?

Who have been the Bean Masters or Mistresses?

Any wild stories?

Any pictures?

Anybody have all the t-shirts?

Any incriminating evidence?

Thanks!

Scott Mc

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By Angel Mangual
From Sierra Vista, AZ
Apr 8, 2012
Scott good question. I talked to Dave Baker and he gave good information about when it started. Like you mentioned, it started in the 1970 and it was with a can of bean that it was the only thing they have to eat at the moment. We are currently building a website with this information and try to gather as much and accurate information as we can. We are trying to collect a list of name of all the Bean Master for the website. Also, the website will help future Bean Master to spread the word and information about their BeanFest. Please if you or any other people have any information please let me know by sending me an email cochisebeanfest@gmail.com. I am trying to gather everything and put it all together in the website.

P.S. Another information that was intriguing to me was that not all the BeanFest was at Cochise. There was even one at Mendoza Canyon. It is up to the BeanMaster or BeanQueen to decide where. This was mainly to show newly developed area to the climbing community.

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By Daryl Allan
From Sierra Vista, AZ
Apr 10, 2012
Me and my Fetish I guess.. ;)
I was told by a couple people at my Beanfest that their favorite part was when I did a quick history of Beanfest speech around the campfire. I can't really take credit for the idea, however, as I swiped it from the previous BM; Steve ;)

I held onto my notes sheet for a while after since it also had all the t-shirt special orders on it. Not sure where that is now though. I had facts on there such as maximum number of people on top of the boulder near the East Stronghold trailhead, interesting places Beanfest was held, first beanfest, the meaning behind the beans on the forehead, I had gone around the crowd scraping all the escaladores viejos for this info.

Speaking of which, does anyone know if Mr. Lusk was ever a beanmaster?

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By Larry
From SoAZ
Apr 10, 2012
Seems like Grossman posted some tales of the first Beanfest somewhere. I believe it was the two you mention, Scott, plus Ray and...Paul Davidson? I've forgotten. I think it was at Molino Basin.

Edit: climbaz.com/interviews/sg_part...

"For some reason Ray Ringle, Scott Brown, John Steiger, Don Gallagher, Fig, and myself were hanging out in the rain up in one of the campgrounds up in Bear Canyon. I don’t know why didn’t get in the car and drive down hill because it was just pouring rain, it was a really a totally miserable night. But we were hanging out there and we started passing around a bottle of Tequila. We had a hot pot of beans. We didn’t get into the beaning ceremony. For some reason, the idea of getting drunk, hanging around eating beans seemed like a good thing. It wasn’t too long after that, we had another grouping of people, and John Steiger got religion, he got this religious zeal in his eye. At one point in time, he grabbed the beans, totally drunk, got up and went around putting beans on people’s foreheads and handing them a bottle of Tequila. The nucleus of the beanfest got going. It made sense because we’d all been getting together for slide shows but we really hadn’t been getting together to party outside – to have a climber’s party. The tradition got going very quickly. It was a good idea even though several people, Karl Rickson among them, and this other woman from Phoenix, were horrified by the idea – that it was somehow becoming a cult. They ran off into the dark. We went off and yelled their names out and told them that we were going to come find them – they better come forward and be beaned. They came back out of the gloom and ended up getting beaned, much to the delight of the converted."

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By Steve Pulver
From Williston, ND
Apr 12, 2012
My memory is hazy from time, but pretty sure I went to a Beanfest where Tony Lusk introduced himself to me as the beanmaster. I know it was on the east side, think it might have been the fall of '98. I was out of the country for two years, and think it was before I left.

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By Steve Pulver
From Williston, ND
Apr 12, 2012
I made a list of Beanmaster names listed in old emails, climbaz, and mtn proj. posts

Spring '02, Jason Worrell, Whale Dome/end of the road
Fall '02, John Diaz, Sheepshead campground
Spring '03, Joe Astier, Isle of You campground
Fall '03, Jaime Arrieta, East Stronghold
Spring '04, Maura Mahoney, West Stronghold
Fall '04, Frank and Maureen Reiser, East Stronghold
Spring '05 Charles R. Schmidt, schmidtc at GMAIL, East Stronghold
Fall '05, Clay Sparks, clayton at bondwriter, Isle of You campground
Spring '06, Sonja Smith, East Stronghold
Fall '06, Chris Baldwin, fat_mama_joe at hotmail, East Stronghold
Spring '07 Fred Nakovic, huecool at msn, East Stronghold
Fall '07, Ian Albenesius, ialbenesius at GMAIL, East Stronghold
Spring '08, Jason Spence, Isle of You campground
Fall '08, Luis Cisneros, East Stronghold
Spring '09, Jennifer ?, West Stronghold
Fall '09 Steve Johnson, Sheepshead campground
Spring '10, Daryl Allan, Isle of You campground
Fall '10, Tanya Ayers, East Stronghold
Spring '11, Logan Lichtenhan, Isle of You campground
Fall '11, Mike Diesen, East Stronghold
Spring '12, Angel Mangual, Isle of You campground

Also, Steve Johnson once mentioned to me that he went to a Beanfest held in the Rincons.

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By John Hayes
From Bend, OR
Apr 15, 2012
Portrait for site
Scotty, here are two stories:

I remember going to an early fest in Molino Basin sometime in the late 70's or early 80's. I remember that Steiger, Grossman, Davidson, Ray, Fig, Dianne, and John Sherman were there. I think that either Steiger or Davidson might have been the bean master. After dinner, the beaning, and a lot of alcohol, Sherman jumped up and declared that "we need tunes!" It was about 2 am and he rounded up about 8 guys to walk out to the parking lot where they picked up an unsuspecting and unlocked VW bug and lifted it over the rock retaining wall so they could get it closer to the fire. Sherman opened the doors, reached in, and turned on the radio--full blast. Everyone was passed out about an hour after that. The next morning, everyone headed out to climb and I recall the hapless owner of the VW standing there trying to figure out how he was going to get his car back over the wall to the parking lot where he could jump the dead battery and drive it home. Maybe John or Paul will remember this one and help fill in some of the facts. That one seems like a long time ago.

I also recall Eric Rhicard's fest when he rigged a huge king swing by tying a couple of ropes between two enormous trees. That thing was big and set up on a hillside to launch riders way out over some impressive exposure. Some of Tucson's best climbers lowered off that thing with eyes like saucer plates! It was a heck of a cool ride. Later in the evening after considerable fortification with alcohol, a few knuckleheads eschewed the harness and took the big whipper out over space by just hanging on to the rope. It would have been a fall of way over 100' had anyone lost their grip. It was amazing that no one got killed.


Larry wrote:
Seems like Grossman posted some tales of the first Beanfest somewhere. I believe it was the two you mention, Scott, plus Ray and...Paul Davidson? I've forgotten. I think it was at Molino Basin. Edit: climbaz.com/interviews/sg_part... "For some reason Ray Ringle, Scott Brown, John Steiger, Don Gallagher, Fig, and myself were hanging out in the rain up in one of the campgrounds up in Bear Canyon. I don’t know why didn’t get in the car and drive down hill because it was just pouring rain, it was a really a totally miserable night. But we were hanging out there and we started passing around a bottle of Tequila. We had a hot pot of beans. We didn’t get into the beaning ceremony. For some reason, the idea of getting drunk, hanging around eating beans seemed like a good thing. It wasn’t too long after that, we had another grouping of people, and John Steiger got religion, he got this religious zeal in his eye. At one point in time, he grabbed the beans, totally drunk, got up and went around putting beans on people’s foreheads and handing them a bottle of Tequila. The nucleus of the beanfest got going. It made sense because we’d all been getting together for slide shows but we really hadn’t been getting together to party outside – to have a climber’s party. The tradition got going very quickly. It was a good idea even though several people, Karl Rickson among them, and this other woman from Phoenix, were horrified by the idea – that it was somehow becoming a cult. They ran off into the dark. We went off and yelled their names out and told them that we were going to come find them – they better come forward and be beaned. They came back out of the gloom and ended up getting beaned, much to the delight of the converted."

FLAG
By Warren Scott
Apr 15, 2012
I was at a Beanfest one year (Isle of You) where some guy strolled out of the darkness to received his bean annoitment--buck naked. He got beaned all right, from his crotch to his forehead. That was the same year I got challenged to a chile eating contest with some hoser who produced habeneros. He gobbled down my chile like it was ice cream, and then I had to eat his. The pain that followed is still seared into my mind. I had chemical burns from it and almost passed out. The shirts that year were tanktops that said Beanfest 98 (?): The Mother of all Beanfests.

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By Scott M. McNamara
From Tucson, Arizona
Apr 15, 2012
One Way Sunset
Remember:

When the naked lady chased Dean all around the Beanfest? Didn't he hide in a van to escape her amorous embrace? I never found out how it turned out.

When it was always (in the fall) in the East Stronghold (actual) campground (until we got kicked out for disturbing the campers) and we all tried to get as many people as possible on the top of that scary, big boulder beside the road?

I wonder who thought that game up?

Remember all the unusual games and the near misses for injury? The tandem bike race—two bikes tied together, the human fustball, the knot un-tie contest, while ice cubes were being thrown....

I am trying to remember all the places it has been held:

Stronghold—East and West
Lemmon
Valley of the Moon
Mendoza

Have I forgot any place?

Thanks everyone for your participation!

I would like to see some of this history preserved.

Scott Mc

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By John Hayes
From Bend, OR
Apr 15, 2012
Portrait for site
Yeah Scotty, I remember that beanfest in the East Stronghold where you were hiding out to avoid getting beaned and the crowd descended on some poor Guatemalan family in a tent. They bare spoke English and were totally terrorized as the crowd grabbed their tent tent and shook it yelling "bean him", 'bean him". As I recall, you hightailed it into the woods and never did get beaned that year. Are you still lying low?



Scott M. McNamara wrote:
Remember: When the naked lady chased Dean all around the Beanfest? Didn't he hide in a van to escape her amorous embrace? I never found out how it turned out. When it was always (in the fall) in the East Stronghold (actual) campground (until we got kicked out for disturbing the campers) and we all tried to get as many people as possible on the top of that scary, big boulder beside the road? I wonder who thought that game up? Remember all the unusual games and the near misses for injury? The tandem bike race—two bikes tied together, the human fustball, the knot un-tie contest, while ice cubes were being thrown.... I am trying to remember all the places it has been held: Stronghold—East and West Lemmon Valley of the Moon Mendoza Have I forgot any place? Thanks everyone for your participation! I would like to see some of this history preserved. Scott Mc

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By Scott M. McNamara
From Tucson, Arizona
Apr 15, 2012
One Way Sunset
errr, ahhh, well.................




some Beanfests I remember better than others.

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By Paul Davidson
Apr 30, 2012
Scott M. McNamara wrote:
errr, ahhh, well................. some Beanfests I remember better than others.


Scott:
That is one of the best laughs I've had on here in a while. Course, been awhile due to work....

John's recollection of the Vermin fest is spot on. I don't recall who was the BM that year but it was probably '83 or '84 or thereabouts.
I think I slunk off to bed about the time the VW started magically flying over the rock wall.

The truly amazing thing is that no one has ever been seriously injured in all these antics. Especially the east side boulder that had the agave's along the base. I stopped participating in that one and stayed as a spectator !

Steve's memory of the start is pretty right on. Although i thought Steiger got religion at the rainfest. The one missing part of the story there is that those drunks would have hightailed it for town if not for the good ole Shoenard Cagoule. Half the fun I understand was being able to walk around imbibing in the pouring rain while doing bad impressions of Gregorian chants dressed up like dark Hobbits.

If not for the likes of John, who were able to keep somewhat sober, we would have no history.
There is one other part of the story, which is that the true beginnings of all this came from the fertile mind of Scott Baxter up in Flagstaff. Every summer (late May I believe Scott would have a Syndicato Granitica Banquet around his Birthday. Usually held out at his house in Parks. I believe it was in '74 when Rich Thompson hauled the high school sophmore Steve Grossman up to one of those. Standard fair was bottle walking, caber tossing, slack lining and the myriad of other climber games. I think it was only later in the '70s that the Parks Wall bouldering contest came into being.

Rich had such a great time that he went back to Tucson determined to start a similar local tradition. Thus was the Climbarama formed.
With Rich's unfortunate passing (78? maybe 77?) I believe the full blown Climbarama fell out of favor but smaller parties managed to hold the tradition alive until Steiger's masterful (unfortunate some might claim) stroke of slapping refried's into one's immortal soul.

For many years the Beanfest was a fairly small gathering.
Until Michael Jimmerson became bean master and decided to blow it wide open. He talked me into writing him a database that was passed around for a few fests which coincidentally was about when attendance started to rise exponentially. Funny how emails (even then) and letters (even Word would do mail merge back then) could get the Mish's of the world to show up.

I think Jimmerson created the first Beanfest Tshirt.
And then Eric's Bfest (Rose canyon wasn't it ?) was the second ?
Or was Eric's the first and Jimmerson just talked about it, being an accomplished talker ?

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By Eric D
From Gnarnia
Apr 30, 2012
Born again on the last move of the Red Dihedral, high Sierras.
Steve's list is a bit off. Jason Spence was Beanmaster a season or a year after Luis Cisneros.

Human Foosball should also go down as one of the best games played at beanfest (Jason Spence was Beanmaster).

Luis went out for a midnight beaning of those that had passed out early. He went from tent to tent and didn't realize that a NOLS group had camped too close to the Beanfest. Some NOLS students were not happy to find a guy that they had never seen, wasted, trying to smear beans on their foreheads.

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By Daryl Allan
From Sierra Vista, AZ
Apr 30, 2012
Me and my Fetish I guess.. ;)
Pretty sure some horseback rider people got beaned in their sleeping bags this Saturday. That was some serious long distance beaning. Runners beware, there's no escape from the bean mob!!

Angel, I think you should come up with some bean mob shirts for those that partake in the midnight run. That's the last time I bring a gas lantern along.

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By Scott M. McNamara
From Tucson, Arizona
May 3, 2012
One Way Sunset
From John Steiger's, "Climbers Guide to Sabino Canyon and Mount Lemmon Highway."
From John Steiger's, "Climbers Guide to Sabino Canyon and Mount Lemmon Highway."

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By JMayhew
From Tucson, AZ
May 9, 2012
Eric Wagner's Bean 'Zine Cover 1998
Eric Wagner's Bean 'Zine Cover 1998

Hey Scott,
Eric Wagner said I could post this cover to his small collection of Beanfest recollections that he compiled for his 1998 Fest. Lots of previous Fest antics are cleverly depicted, including that year's challenge of scrambling straight uphill to pick out a bowling ball on a ledge and tumbling back down through the rocks and bushes to the finish line. I still get occasional twinges from the tendon damage that apparently occurs if you jog while holding a bowling ball. I'll try to get my scanner working to get the stories emailed to you. He also said he still had a few copies available. Here's Karl Rickson's contribution:

I'm sorry to say that the memories of the climbs over twenty years of Beanfests have, with time, all run together. What remains clearest is twenty years of Sunday mornings. Up late, hung-the-hell-over, rummaging through the tables for enough leftovers to assemble a lettuce and salsa burrito, a seat by the fire and hot, strong coffee. The slow, relaxing onset of hypoglycemic shock.
Hopefully, I'd have done something notable on Saturday, which in turn allowed me to rest on my laurels and swap lying-through-my-teeth understatements about routes with the rest of the scruffy crew around me. It was a fine obsession.

KR



Chuck Lipinski's was 1993 in Happy Valley area. (A future Beanmaster took a grounder at this one, shook it off, seemed alright, and discovered several days later that one of his lungs was completely collapsed!)
I think KR's was next and then maybe mine in '95 (??)I know I should remember but... alcohol may have been involved.

I DO remember EFR's adrenaline-rushing king tree swing on Lemmon (I definitely stayed clipped in.)

Bob Kerry actually had the first human foosball at his Fest, but Jason's upgrades were pretty clever with being suspended.

And that was an "alpine-simulation" knot-TYING contest...while wearing over-sized gloves...standing in a bucket of ice water...AND having people toss small cupfuls of ice water in your face!

Good times....
Jeff

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By Scott M. McNamara
From Tucson, Arizona
May 9, 2012
One Way Sunset
Thanks everybody!

Keep those stories and photos coming.

I think it important that this history not disappear.

Scott Mc

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By Daryl Allan
From Sierra Vista, AZ
May 10, 2012
Me and my Fetish I guess.. ;)
Great stuff guys!! I talked with Kent out there at this last one and he was throwing the idea around of putting a book together. I wholeheartedly encouraged him to do so. I would be first in line to get a copy! Jeff, that drawing is classic.

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By Peter Noebels
May 19, 2012
I have tons more but not the time
beanfest butts
beanfest butts

circa early 1990's
--- Invalid image id: 107614824 ---

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By Michael Jimmerson
May 28, 2013
I think this photo was after the nightly boulder where we tried to get as many people as possible on top of the boulder. I think the record was 14 or 15.

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